Originally constructed to house the Tsoga Environmental Centre, this eco-friendly building now houses a temporary computer centre. As the building neared completion, Tsoga (a community-based NGO that aids the environment and is involved in social upliftment) unfortunately lost their funding. In 2005 the center won the Holcim Awards Bronze for Africa Middle East and quickly became a standard stop on Cape Town tour itineraries of many universities and international cultural organizations. In 2007 the building received a CIA Award for
Architecture from the Cape Institute for Architecture, South Africa.
The building, designed by ARG Design, Anna Cowen Architects and Vernon Collis & Associates is seen as an example on how to build sustainably both in environmental and social terms. The community was active in both the design and building processes. Apart from a few specialists, most of the builders came from the local community.
The building works without much mechanical aid. There is no need for air-conditioning as the building is designed to be comfortable in both summer and winter and predominantly local and recycled materials were used. The building is an aesthetically pleasing structure where every design decision was carefully considered to produce
a work of high social, technical, environmental, cultural and financial value.
To promote a greater public awareness of environmental issues; inform and educate communities of their environmental rights; promote community participation and involvement
in environmental policy formulation; build a community-accessible resource centre; and facilitate information sharing locally and internationally.